Regional News of Monday, 11 February 2013
The International Institute of ICT Journalism (Penplusbytes) is to roll out a new project on transparency and accountability of Ghana’s Oil and Gas Industry.
The release signed by Mr Kofi Mangesi, Director of Penplusbytes and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Monday, said his organisation had received funding from STAR-Ghana, a multi-donor pooled agency, to implement the project titled: “Empowering the media to play an active role over oil and gas revenue and resources.’’
He explained that the project would in the long term increase the uptake of oil and gas stories by the Ghanaian media leading to an effective watch-dog role over Ghana’s oil and gas revenues and resources.
This would be achieved through training of journalists to undertake investigative and in-depth stories which would better inform Parliament and citizens to hold Government accountable.
The project would also aim at increasing oil and gas information and knowledge exchange between the media and civil society organisations (CSOs) leading to effective opportunities for national dialogue on key oil and gas revenue management issues, through a collaborative online platform to enhance advocacy on oil and gas revenues and resources.
The Projects Director, Mr Jerry Sam, said “as part of the project, there will be organisation of face to face forums for journalists and CSOs, mentoring and field trips as well as the development of media guide on reporting oil and gas stories which will go a long way in building the capacity of the media to effectively play their role in educating the public about the oil and gas sector while at the same time holding elected officials to account on Ghana’s oil and gas revenue management”.
The project is expected to run for two years and during that period 20 Ghanaian journalists are expected to be equipped with specialised skills to effectively report on oil and gas contracts, licenses, environmental impact as a result of the industry, reporting on revenues and financial statements.
Penplusbytes in the past couple of years has provided leadership in training journalists to effectively report on extractive sectors in Ghana and Uganda.